If you could be any musician, living or dead, who would it be?
Joel Shanahan, the Bilderberg Group and Suicide TXT: Andrew WK. He's such an incredible performer, he has so much creative flexibility, and everyone loves him. He could construct an electronic album from bathroom noises and he'd have a cult following.
Chris Wagoner, the Stellanovas: Tom Waits, definitely. He gets to be as strange as he likes, play any kind of music he feels like at any given moment, never really needs to warm up his voice before singing, and all that only makes people love him more. He gets asked to play himself in really artsy movies and is hired to write the soundtrack. He also has a great collection of hats. And vests.
Mary Gaines, the Stellanovas: If there was any way to combine Bonnie Raitt with Sarah Vaughan, Aretha Franklin and Norah Jones, I would just die now and be happy ever after. They all wrap a simplicity into a complexity and back around a few times that is primal in how it grabs you and holds on while you remain where you are in the moment yet elevated into bliss.
Danny Vacation and Gunns Bakardy, The No & Maybe Game: The 1985 Chicago Bears. Who hasn't dreamt of being a football player, rapper or berry-gobbling mammal?
Who are some other Madison musicians you're really into?
AJ Love: The Wednesday night jazz/soul sessions at R Place on Park with Harlan Jefferson is a very inspiring show. When I walk out of there, I feel lifted up spiritually. Bill Roberts is a bad-ass guitar player; I love listening to him just rip. I'm also a big fan of Frank James -- love that old-school country music, and Frank can deliver it authentically.
Randall Luecke, Crane Your Swan Neck: A consistent top qualifier has been Sonmi. They do a great job of marrying the electronic sounds with live instrumentation and have so many great hooks while still maintaining a decent amount of weirdness.
Kris Hansen, National Beekeepers Society: The No & Maybe Game: They have a song called "The Stops" that peels the paint off our brains. Kitty Rhombus: Tight and edgy sound, plus [bassist] the Wizard sometimes lights his armpit hair on fire, and you can't argue with that. Butt Funnel: Indefinable fun. Their music is strange, their name is funny, and their live show can't be unseen.
Catherine Capellaro, VO5: The Gomers are our rock brothers. We pretend to be their rivals, but we're all secretly in love. We also adore Steez. We love everyone.
Sometimes excited fans like to hurl things at the performers on the stage. What would you like your fans to throw at you?
Kia Karlen, Yid Vicious: Money, cheeseburgers and good whiskey.
Joel Shanahan, the Bilderberg Group and Suicide TXT: Fresh vegetables, so I can dump them into a curry after the show. Eating is awesome, and I can't always afford to do it.
Adam Gregory Pergament, Venice Gas House Trolley: Love/obsession letters and poems. Those for Josh, the drummer, should not be in cursive, though. Those for me should be handwritten and lightly perfumed, as I prefer intimacy over readability.
Kris Hansen, National Beekeepers Society: I wish people would throw Barenaked Ladies at us. Yes, the band. I want to give a noogie to the chubby one who got busted for coke.
Ben Gretenhart, the Transgressions: Bottles of pills. Because they are easier to find than individual pills.
Chris Gandolfo, the Transgressions: Roses. Nobody throws roses at the stage anymore.
What superpowers do you have when you're onstage? What superpowers would you like to have onstage?
Whitney Mann: I wish I had the superpower of Shredding-on-the-Acoustic-Guitar.
Peter Johnston, Roots Collective: I want to fly over the crowd, playing a flaming drum set.
Trent Prall, Lualdi: I would like the power to glow in the dark. I think it would add a lot to our shows: I could use my body to throw a sweet rave party.
Felicia Alima: I transform into my alter ego "Miss Alima" just before I step on stage. It's kind of like when Pichu reaches his happiness quota and evolves into Pikachu, except I don't shoot lightning out of my face. I want to shoot lightning out of my face!
Brad Van, Droids Attack: As far as powers I would like to have, the power to use the bathroom without leaving the stage. I know I could just wear a diaper, but that's not a superpower. It's more like magic.